WHAT IS A JEWELRY APPRAISAL?
A jewelry appraisal is an opinion as to the authenticity, quality, design and value of a piece of jewelry. Since it is an opinion backed and supported by training, equipment and experience, it is important to understand that there can be honest variations between competent appraisers.
Most people commonly believe that the declared price evaluation is the most important aspect of an appraisal. This is not true. Actually the most important part (and the most protective to the customer) is an explicit description of the jewelry item, accurately depicting the design, the metal, the stones and the quality. The purpose of the declared price is to serve as a vehicle to determine your insurance premiums.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE MY JEWELRY APPRAISED?
Most homeowners or renters policies have a minimum amount of coverage for all unscheduled personal property including your jewelry. Only items that are scheduled under a separate policy can be covered for more than this amount. In order to schedule these items, insurance companies require that they be appraised. A detailed, accurate jewelry appraisal is needed to protect your interest. Most insurance companies will replace your items at time of loss. Therefore, an appraisal will allow the insurance company to replace your items with like or comparable items of size and quality as per the specifications listed on your appraisal.
Other needs for a jewelry appraisal:
- Proof of ownership
- Future identification
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO DO JEWELRY APPRAISALS?
Until recently, insurance companies would accept any appraisal whether it was accurate or not. However, because of the increase in fraudulent claims, most insurance companies now insist on a gemologically accurate and detailed document prepared by a qualified gemologist.
HOW DO I KNOW IF AN APPRAISER IS QUALIFIED?
Look for the following credentials after the appraiser’s name:
- GG – Graduate Gemologist GIA
- CG – Certified Gemologist AGS
- FGA – Fellow, GAGS
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD THE APPRAISAL CONTAIN?
The appraisal should provide enough information to replace the item with one like size, quality and value in the event of loss or damage.
Description of the setting including metal type, purity or karat, gram weight, style, method of manufacture, condition, stamps or engraving.
Description of major stones, including species and/or variety, origin (natural or man made), shape, size, weight, color, clarity and condition.
- Total gram weight
- Estimated replacement value or retail
DO YOU NEED AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE APPRAISAL?
Appointments are required and are highly recommended. Appraisal hours are determined by the number of appointments. An appointment will ensure you of prompt attention when you enter the store. We do ask that you please contact the store if you cannot keep the appointed time.
DO I HAVE TO LEAVE MY JEWELRY OVERNIGHT?
In most instances your jewelry will be appraised right before your eyes. Our “while you wait service” is designed with you in mind. You can wait, or if you feel comfortable, you can shop or make other use of your time. If you have a large number of items you can leave them and we will call you when they are completed. Your jewelry will be fully insured and secure while in our possession.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY APPRAISAL?
The finished appraisal will be ready in 10 days. If you have a large number of items or additional research is required, you will receive your appraisal at a time to be determined.
HOW WILL I BE CHARGED FOR THE APPRAISAL?
You will be charged a minimum fee per piece as dictated by the prevailing rates in your marketing area. The fee for the appraisal covers the appraiser’s time with the client, the appraiser’s expertise, time necessary to inspect the jewelry, photograph the jewelry, valuate the jewelry and prepare the typewritten report.
It will also cover any additional research required by the appraiser. If you have more than ten items to appraise, you may qualify for a bulk rate discount depending on the type of pieces being appraised.
The gemologist reserves the right to inspect the pieces before negotiating a bulk rate. Some pieces may be charged more than the minimum depending on the number of stones, the size of the stones and any additional necessary gemological tests. The gemologist will inform the client of the total appraisal fee before any work is done.
WHAT ABOUT FUTURE UPDATES?
Most insurance companies encourage you to have your jewelry appraisals updated to keep up with current market trends and the increase in labor, precious metals, and gemstones. Your appraisal will be securely backed up in our archives and can be easily updated in the future and at the prevailing update charge at the time.
ESTATE OR FAIR MARKET VALUE APPRAISALS
Estate valuation requires an appraisal of cash value of any included gemstone or jewelry item. This cash value is based upon what a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree upon without a forced sale. Since it does not consider today’s marketing costs nor current prices for labor, material or creative design, this type of appraisal is lower than an appraisal done for insurance purposes.
Treasury regulation 20.2031-1 (B) states the fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy and sell and both having reasonable knowledge or relevant facts. The fair market value of a particular item of property is not to be determined by a forced sale price, nor is the fair market value of an item property to be determined by the sale price of the item in a market other than that in which such item is most commonly sold to the public. Taking into account the location of the item of property, which is generally obtained by the public in the retail market, the fair market value of such an item of property is the price at which the item or a comparable item would be sold at retail.
To be noted is the determination of a market where the used jewelry is most commonly sold to the public. For example: from retail consumer to jeweler, or retail consumer to retail consumer via public auction, or other public sale – where that market is proven to be the common market. These values may be fraction of what a similar new item may be sold at retail and would qualify as the fair market value.